Liquor store owner says ram-raids having impact on 'hard-working Kiwis', calls on Jacinda Ardern to take action

The owner of the Mt Wellington liquor store ram-raided on Saturday morning is fed up with the lack of punishment given to thieves and is calling on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to take action. 

Two people were arrested after Liquorland on Lunn Ave in Mt Wellington was ram-raided at just after 4am. 

Footage from the scene shows the front door to the store damaged with shattered glass and broken bottles strewn across the entrance. 

Inside the store shelves and bottles were knocked over while the drawers were stripped of cigarettes.  

Store owner Andrew Barr said the thieves were in the shop for about 30 minutes and took rum, vodka, bourbon and tobacco, while a sledgehammer was also found at the scene. 

"They came in prepared, they had a sledgehammer, so my counters have been destroyed. There's no cash kept on my premises, but, it's fairly clear that they are stealing to order," he said. 

Barr said the ongoing ram-raid spree in Auckland is "dreadful" and there need to be consequences for the criminals. 

"There have to be consequences for people who do this. If it is kids that have done it, what are their parents doing? Where's the liability with the parents," Barr said. 

"I'm not putting my hand out for money, for what's happened. There are some disadvantaged people who do this, but disadvantaged people or just genuinely bad buggers, it's just being allowed to happen. 

"Something's happened in New Zealand, something's happened with the legal framework and things happen because they're allowed to."

Damage caused by the burglary at Liquorland in Mt Wellington.
Damage caused by the burglary at Liquorland in Mt Wellington. Photo credit: Newshub

Barr urged the criminals to "stop thinking about themselves" and realise they aren't just hurting the shops they burgle, there are consequences to staff as well.

"Hey, guys, give us a break. You might just see a banner, but there are people here. This business feeds six families. I've got families that depend on me for payment," he said.

"You work hard and there are a lot of people that clean up every day to get things done to present products well and if these businesses close, there are real family consequences."

"Unfortunately the costs just get passed back to the consumer. Your insurance costs go up, it's just a dreadful situation. So just stop thinking about yourself and think about the consequences of your action for other people. Just hard-working Kiwis. It's very, very disappointing."

Liquor store owner says ram-raids having impact on 'hard-working Kiwis', calls on Jacinda Ardern to take action
Photo credit: Newshub

Barr said he stopped selling vape products a few months ago after encouragement from the local community, but after this ram-raid, he will stop selling cigarettes as the risk is too high.

Barr said what terrifies him, is when criminals walk into stores with weapons. 

"What genuinely terrifies me is when you get the walk in with a knife, that's the real concern. Where is this going to end? If we have actions being taken without consequences and what's happening now? Where is it going to escalate to? That's what I lose sleep about," he said. 

"You can ensure the business, you can set up to protect yourself there but I don't want to put my guys - first-rate human beings - on the line, putting their lives on the line for a packet of cigarettes, that doesn't wash. Change needs to happen, please. Come on Jacinda [Ardern] get into gear."